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streetscaping... it's like landscaping, but for streets

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, November 23, 2004, at 02:33PM

So I went to a meeting last night about streetscaping on Spring and Main. Now if you're like me you hear the word "streetscaping" and say "They've already got trees out there." Turns out the CRA thinks streetscaping is a little more than I did.

The process of drafting a set of guidelines for streetscaping on these streets has been going on for quite a while and I've come into it pretty late. My impression at this stage was that the scope varied from general guidelines to very specific projects. The general guidelines covered streetlights, sidewalk paving, etc, and that's all well and good.

The more specific projects interest me more. For instance, who knew that there was an art gallery -- Mickey Kaplan Fine Art (note, some of the art isn't work friendly) -- coming together in my basement. The CRA put in money to help rehab the space, and now after significant delays and negotiations it looks to be finally opening. Several elements of Premiere Towers fit into the design of the site. The splash page doors are those to the left of the main entrance to my building. The main page image is a fairly realistic look facing out through the gallery doors. Funny side note: Last night I took the elevator down to the basement to take a look at the space and that couch in the picture was sitting there. I wondered why it was there; I wondered if someone had just left it there temporarily. Well, turns out it's at least been there long enough to make it into the website design.

Another component of the project is a goal of turning some of the closed off alleyways downtown into a network of pedestrian walkways. One of the few highlighted in the documents handed out last night was the alleyway directly beneath my window. I think it would be great to see it happen, but one thing they'd have to figure out is what to do with those garbage trucks that rumble through there every single morning. They'll also have to convince the property owners that a pedestrian walk is better for them than the revenue from the filming that regularly occurs there.

And that's the rub... This is a good plan, but it needs money before it ever gets implemented. That's always the rub...

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